In this blog, we talk a lot about the importance of roof maintenance, including preventative maintenance and necessary roof repairs. While it may seem intuitive, the more rapidly you repair a roof after it has sustained damage, the better positioned you are to have the roof last for years or even decades longer. Commercial roof repairs should always be performed in a timely manner to maintain the roof quality and extend its lifespan, thus protecting your investment. Ignoring even minor leaks can deteriorate the roof system well before its time.
While much of our area is preparing to enter into a calmer season weather-wise, it is never a bad time to remind commercial property owners that they should pay particular attention to their roofs after destructive storms. Severe weather (or even flash storms) can leave standing water on the roof, causing leakage and damage to the building’s interior or even increasing the risk of a roof collapse. Commercial property owners must be aware of anything that can ruin the equipment and assets under the roof and interrupt business operations. Significant roof repairs can shut down a business while repairs are performed. However, routinely scheduled inspections allow professionals to discover and mitigate problem areas before the issues escalate.
Roof Damage Commonly Caused by Storms
Commercial flat roofs are especially vulnerable to wear and tear caused by weathering and storms. Pinpointing the warning signs of a storm-damaged roofing system allows emergency repairs to be performed rapidly and may avoid having to replace the entire roof.
Here are common causes of weather-related roof damage:
- High Temperatures: Heat is one of the major contributors to the failures of commercial roofing systems. Extended exposure to very high temperatures can result in deterioration of materials and thermal shock. Inspectors should look for warping or cracks in the roof coating where moisture may intrude.
- Heavy Rains: The torrential rains common to the South can significantly impact commercial roofs, especially if the drainage system becomes clogged or inoperable. Standing water can speed up the deterioration of the materials, causing leaks or cracks.
- Lightning: While more prevalent in some areas than others, a commercial roof can be struck by lightning. If this occurs, the resulting fire can damage roof systems. Lightning can also put holes in the roof membrane, making it vulnerable to water damage. Keep in mind that in lightning-prone areas, metal roofing may attract more strikes.
- Sustained Winds: Strong winds, such as those evident in hurricanes and tornados, can cause major damage by tearing off loose roofing materials or lifting the edges of the roof. The wind can also cause loose debris to fly and puncture the roof. Make sure to consult with a professional roofing contractor after any severe storm to evaluate and repair any wind damage.
Inspecting for Post-Storm Damage
Damage resulting from a severe storm can be devastating for commercial roofs. Property owners and managers can take several steps to prevent the damage from spiraling into a larger problem.
Check for Interior Leaks: Internal inspections of the building can help to identify saturated insulation and mold growth, as water stains on the walls and ceilings are indicators of water intrusion. These signs warn of possible leaks that may be originating on the roof.
Call an Experienced Commercial Roofing Contractor: Commercial roofing contractors utilize specialized tools, skills and equipment to spot and repair problems that might otherwise go unseen. Routine inspections, rapid repairs, and proactive maintenance are critical to a long-lasting commercial roof. Those with a roof maintenance contract can rest assured that not only will there be periodic checks for integrity but that any emergency repairs will be performed in a timely manner.
Unicoat Industrial Roofing doesn’t just install and repair roofs – our team works to ensure that your business doesn’t suffer unnecessary downtime and that your roof lasts as long as possible. Call today to learn more about our unique capabilities and methods.